E&E lost RM7.3b due to Covid-19

The buoyant E&E industry is among the sectors most negatively impacted, says senior minister

by DASHVEENJIT KAUR/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

THE electrical and electronics (E&E) industry has incurred a cumulative loss of RM7.28 billion of GDP due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Senior Minister (Economic Cluster) Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said the buoyant E&E industry, which has been the mainstay and strength of the manufacturing sector and economy, was among the sectors most negatively impacted.

In his address for the Malaysia Productivity Corp webinar series yesterday, Azmin said the cumulative losses incurred by the sector are estimated at RM7.28 billion of GDP, while the impact to exports is estimated at RM29.12 billion.

“The E&E sector is the backbone of the country’s economy and remains a significant contributor totheGDP.

“Its contribution to GDP last year was RM81 billion, constituting 5.8% of the national GDP, while its exports amounted to RM380 billion,” he said.

He said the entire E&E industry in Malaysia, including local large companies, and small and medium enterprises, is part of the global supply chain.

“There is, therefore, no over-stressing the importance of the E&E sector in bolstering our economy.

“At the same time, we need to stand back and take stock of its contribution and explore how best we can add value to it to ensure its strong and sustainable growth,” he added.

According to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Malaysia stands as the seventh- largest E&E exporter in the world today.

Azmin said the government is currently structuring cohesive short, medium and long-term plans to resuscitate the economy.

“The government has laid out a six-phase plan, called 6R, to achieve the medium and long-term goals, namely, resolve, resilience, restart, recovery, revitalise and reform.

“Resolve was when we implemented the Movement Control Order to control the spread of the virus and resilience was when we launched the RM260 billion Prihatin economic stimulus package,” he said.

The latest phase that is ongoing currently, is the restart phase where almost all economic sectors are allowed to operate.

“It bears repeating that no amount of stimulus can mitigate the huge loss of employment and income unless we open up.

“Following the restart phase is recovery where the government will announce a six-month short- term economic recovery plan by the end of May,” he said.

That will be followed by medium-term revitalisation that would be tabled in the 2021 budget in November.

Azmin said the last step, which is the reform (long-term phase), will be the 12th Malaysia Plan scheduled to be revealed in January 2021.

He also urged the business community to look at the challenges they are facing as an opportunity to add value to their business and that there is no better time than now to fast-track their digitalisation agenda, across all facets of their businesses.

“The fact is that Covid-19 has jolted us to the reality of how crucial and pervasive digitisation is and why we need it more than ever to future-proof our businesses.

“It will help us achieve sustainable economic growth while protecting the environment and the wellbeing of the people,” he added.